TALLINN - Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu on Thursday praised the European Union's decision to adopt a new package of sanctions to tighten and strengthen restrictive measures against Russia.
As new measures, a cap on the price of Russian oil agreed by the G7 will be imposed, restrictions on services, exports and imports will be expanded, and additional individuals and entities placed under the restrictions, spokespeople for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn said.
Reinsalu said Estonia has always stood for the European Union's sanctions packages against Russia to be as strong and effective as possible.
"The new sanctions are an important step towards the European Union's economic ties with Russia becoming weaker and EU businesses having to look for alternatives elsewhere," the minister said.
"Estonia will continue to demand the strengthening of sanctions at the European Union level in order to raise the cost of the aggression to a level where it would completely paralyze the Russian economy and make it impossible to finance the war," he said.
The package includes an export ban on chemicals, dual-use goods, goods used for torture, high technology, technical items used in the aviation sector, machinery, weapons and parts thereof that have not been sanctioned so far. The list of items under import ban will also be expanded.
The package widens the scope of services that can no longer be provided to the government of Russia or legal persons established in Russia: these now include IT consultancy, legal advisory, architecture and engineering services. These are significant as they will potentially weaken Russia's industrial capacity because it is highly dependent on importing these services.
Thursday's package marks the beginning of the implementation within the EU of the G7 agreement on Russian oil exports. While the EU's ban on importing Russian seaborne crude oil fully remains, the price cap, once implemented, would allow European operators to undertake and support the transport of Russian oil to third countries, provided its price remains under a pre-set cap. This will help to further reduce Russia's revenues, while keeping global energy markets stable through continued supplies.
This measure is being closely coordinated with G7 partners. It would take effect after Dec. 5, 2022 for crude and Feb. 5, 2023 for refined petroleum products, after a further decision by the Council.
Thirty more Russian individuals and seven legal entities have been sanctioned. This targets those involved in Russia's occupation, illegal annexation, and sham referendums in the occupied territories. It also includes individuals and entities working in the defense sector, such as high-ranking and military officials, as well as companies supporting the Russian armed forces.
At the proposal of Estonia, a ban on the provision of certain crypto-asset services to Russian citizens, residents and companies is included in the package.